Taiwan is the land of the mega-mall, with over a dozen in Taipei alone. On Thursday, Uni-Hankyu opened yet another new mall in the trendy Xinyi district of Taipei. The highlight of the grand opening was undoubtedly Taiwan’s first UNIQLO store. This Japanese casualwear retailer is popular the world over and Taiwanese buyers showed up in the thousands with wallets open, on a weekday no less!
The line was an estimated 3,000 people long, not only at start of business hours but continually throughout the day (and night!) as eager shoppers replenished the line. The wait to go in the store hovered around 4 hours. This may go down in Taiwanese lore as U-Day, signifying not only the arrival of UNIQLO to Taiwan shores but also the Upturn of the economy as consumer confidence builds into actual spending power.
The only USA UNIQLO store opened 2004 in New York City. When will Los Angeles get some love? I hate waiting in lines myself, but seeing mega line-ups might as well be erotic material for me. Lots of visuals for your pleasure follow.
Every person was given a number to mark their place in line. Line-cutting isn’t as common in Taiwan compared to the USA, but this eliminated the problem entirely. Very smart move.
Disneyland-like sign with a warning that you have 3 more hours to go from this spot in line…
The gigantic line coiled throughout the courtyard and snaked around the mall periphery.
Even after sunset, the line was monstrous and could not be defeated!
Victory is almost at hand!
A few photos of the store layout and displays before the hungry masses swarm the store. Retail space was designed by Wonderwall, a company probably most famous for designing the stunning A Bathing Ape stores. UNIQLO has a plain and practical philosophy which is reflected in the store.
The carnage of shopping.
The spoils of war.